Showing posts from June, 2019

Dividing Assets in a divorce case

In an Illinois divorce case, the law classifies assets into two basic categories: non-marital and marital .   Section 503 of the Illinois Marriage Act, officially known as “ 750 ILCS 5/503 Disposition of property and debts,” says that “ Marital Property” is  “... all property, including debts and other obligations, acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriag e ,” and then lists several categories of “ non-marital property ” under its section (a): “(1) property acquired by gift, legacy or descent or property acquired in exchange for such property; (2) property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage; (3) property acquired by a spouse after a judgment of legal separation; (4) property excluded by valid agreement of the parties, including a premarital agreement or a postnuptial agreement; (5) any judgment or property obtained by judgment awarded to a spouse from the other spouse except, however, when a spouse is required to sue the other spouse in ord

Best to rely on family-law advice from a Licensed Illinois Attorney

Many people suffer with family problems that can only be resolved in the court system. Divorce, custody, abuse, parenting-time disputes, unwanted or unexpected relocation of children to other areas or states -- these are just some of the conflicts and issues that often require court intervention. The question is how to move through a complicated legal system as smoothly and efficiently as possible. The reason is that inefficiency and delay can be very, very expensive! I practice law in Cook County Circuit Court, one of the largest court systems in the country. There are procedures, rules and laws that govern the proceedings in and out of the courtroom. It's a constantly-shifting landscape, and it's important not to get your advice from family and friends who have had “similar” cases or who think they know how the system works. If you live in Cook County, Illinois, or have a case in Cook County, then only a licensed Illinois attorney, steeped in the laws, rules and procedures

Children are Children - leave them out of the adult conflict

Divorce and child-custody cases are very stressful, and it's important to shield the children from that stress as much as possible. By discussing the details of court proceedings with a child, or showing documents to a child, severe damage can be caused. The child can suffer emotional scars that can last for years and that will affect that child’s ability to have normal relationships. So, my advice to a client when asked questions by his or her child about divorce or about the progress of a court case is just simply tell that child, “You are my child, you will always be loved, you will always have a place to live and you will always have food and clothing. The adults will handle everything else.” If you would like to discuss you particular divorce, custody or other family-law situation with a licensed Illinois attorney, please give me a call, seven days a week, at 312-493-4241. - Kevin Johnson

Good fences make good neighbors

Why is it important to have very specific language in court orders, parenting agreements and divorce settlement documents? You could look at this like the orange line painted down the middle of a highway. You wouldn't make that line with chalk! No, you'd want to use paint that would be permanent, and that would stand the test of time. Similarly, the language of a court order defines each party's rights and responsibilities, their areas of influence and the limitations on their behavior. Especially when children are involved, it's very important that those limitations be clearly set forth. Just as you would not want the center line on the highway painted with chalk, you don't want the language of your court orders or agreements to use words like “reasonable” or “accommodate the changing needs of the children,” or “either party can cancel his or her parenting time upon 48 hours’ notice.” This is just going to cause day-to-day and week-to-week stress, due to the unpr

Circling the airport?

Have you ever felt that your case is going around and around in circles without going anywhere?  Continuance after continuance, without seeming to move the case forward? One analogy that I use in handling family law cases is that of a pilot of a small plane. I say that I'm like the pilot, and my client is like a passenger in my two-seater plane. I need to know which airport my client wants to go to, that's the goal for the case. If a client would say to me, “I want everything that I'm entitled to, “or “I just want the best outcome possible,” I have to slow down, and be very specific in defining the client's goals. Obviously, no one wants to pay to circle the airport endlessly.   There has to be a constant push toward resolving and completing the case. If you find yourself in a situation that might require a first or second opinion from a licensed Illinois attorney, please give me a call. 312-493-4241,  7 days a week. - Kevin Johnson